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Palestine PM Qurei’ Favours Forming Enlarged Govt

PM Qurei’ Accepts Forming New Enlarged Palestinian Government

RAMALLAH - - The Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei’ said on Tuesday that the Palestinian President Yasser Arafat requested from him to form an enlarged government, replacing the emergency cabinet that would legally end next Monday.

The Fateh Central Committee has nominated Qurei’ to forge the new government, during a meeting convened and chaired yesterday by President Arafat in Ramallah.

PM Qurei’ accepted to be the premiere of this enlarged government on the beginning of the upcoming month, replacing the current emergency cabinet, formed of eight members. Qurei’, the former speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), was sworn in by President Arafat as the head of a one-month emergency cabinet on October 7.

Palestinian Foreign Minister, Dr. Nabil Sha'th, said Tuesday that Qurei’ had agreed to a request by President Yasser Arafat to form the new government to replace an emergency cabinet, which would serve its mandate on November.

“Abu Ala'a has been asked once again to form the new government," Sha’th told reporters after a meeting of the PLO leadership.

"The plan is to have this government ready by the time the term of the emergency cabinet expires," Sha’th said. "We do not want any more time wasted."

Qurei’ also asserted that striking a deal of ceasefire (Hudna) topped the priorities of his new government. He added that it is underway to be potentially achieved among all the Palestinian factions.

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He indicated that the Palestinians are ready to cease all fire once Israel agrees upon that too.

In response, the Islamic resistance movement (Hamas) voiced its willingness to discuss Qurei’s bid to halt its attacks against Israel, if Israel would vow to stop its offensives on the Palestinian people.

Speaking to Al jazeera TV, Osama Hamdan, Hamas representative in Beirut remarked that the movement is willing to conduct a dialogue with Qurei’ but “talks over the ceasefire with Israel is irrational and unrealistic” Hamdan added.

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